“Being an MC or a rapper, you got to change with the times,” Nas told Travis Scott in March, speaking to the Astroworld rapper for an insightful Playboy feature. “I can stay me, sure, but the challenge is to stay with what’s going on. If you look at the great ones from back then, a lot of them have four albums; they had short careers. That’s changed now. All the restrictions are gone. You can be free to make your music … Hip-hop is such a big thing now that everybody’s jumping in on it. There are so many different styles that by the time you do the thing that you do, this dude over here done started a whole new way. You got to stay on top of what’s going on just for the love of music … We broke past the barriers. We understand what we need to do and we’re in control of what we’re doing, and no one can stop it now. No one can tell us what to do, what we can’t do. Rap music can’t be stopped now.”
You can stream Mary J. Blige and Nas’ new collaborative single “Thriving” above. For those interested in witnessing a show on the aforementioned pair’s upcoming tour, head on over to Live Nation’s official website or Ticketmaster to search for tickets.
At the beginning of this month, Nas and Lupe Fiasco teased their own potential collaboration.